Global Antibiotic Stewardship Denies Native Americans Lyme Treatment Options
Posted September 28th, 2016
Written by Jenna Luché-Thayer
Bio – Jenna Luché-Thayer’s expertise includes government transparency and accountability and the integration of marginalized groups. Luché-Thayer is informed by three decades of professional policy and grassroots experience in 40 countries. She has extensive experience in congressional relations, testimony and legislation. She has worked with governments, the United Nations, nonprofits and the corporate world and has over 65 sponsored publications. Luché-Thayer received the International Woman’s Day Award for Exemplary Dedication and Contributions to Improving the Political and Legal Status of Women (US government) and built the Highest Ranking Technical Area in Accomplishment, Innovation & Comparative Advantage for United Nations Capital Development Fund.
[CanLyme Note: Antibiotic stewardship is important to people with Lyme disease. Antibiotics should not be used for diseases that do not require them however in the rush to manage antibiotic consumption, large gaps exist in the stewardship management program. There is, for example, no mechanism in place for measuring the harm done when antibiotics are withheld from those who need them such as for Lyme disease where the patient outcome can be a lifetime of disability or death when denied access to appropriate antibiotic protocols. Just this morning, September 28th, 2016, we at CanLyme received an email from a Quebec resident who had just been to see an Infectious Disease doctor. This person had to insist on a Lyme test and was told by the doctor, “Lyme disease is a fashion these days” and that “if the test comes back positive, it will be a false positive”. Quebec has a serious Lyme disease problem and has for years. We then today also received a phone call from an individual in BC who had a negative Canadian test but a positive US test for Lyme from a certified lab in eastern USA. He was diagnosed with Lyme based upon clinical symptoms and test results and was prescribed antibiotics. His Infectious Disease appointment came up so he went but he was told by that doctor his BC CDC test ruled out Lyme, and the US tests can’t be trusted. He was told to stop the antibiotics despite his improvement, and with no alternative diagnosis nor treatment plan given. Perhaps Infectious Disease doctors should not be in control of such an important program as antibiotic stewardship if they continue to treat this disease that is affecting hundreds of thousands annually, in North America alone, as flippantly as they have for years. Their policies are maiming and killing with government’s blessing.
The article below does not represent the opinion of CanLyme or its directors and the posting of it is intended to open this very important discussion because it is the Infectious Disease doctors who are charged with managing Lyme disease patients.]
Quotes from the article…
“The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has a central and influential role in shaping the US and global ASP and initiatives.”
“The benefits of antibiotic stewardship include improved patient outcomes…and optimization of resource utilization across the continuum of care.”
“IDSA and Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) strongly believe that ASPs are best led by infectious disease physicians…”
“All of the diseases – with the exception of Lyme disease – have multiple references that informed the understanding of the disease and various treatment options. The section for Lyme disease has one sole reference and that is the substandard and federally noncompliant IDSA Lyme Guidelines.”